Gardens on Anderton will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a members-only feature

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By Marla Witness

Special for disc

The Gardens on Anderton turns 25 this summer.

Today it is a two-acre sanctuary of colorful flowers, swaying trees, peaceful resting places and serene beauty. The current state of this lush landscape is due to the dream of Bill and Joy Georgeson, and the thousands of hours of volunteer work over the past quarter century.

Anderton Gardens began as an idea in the mid-1990s, when the Georgesons aspired to create a garden where people’s physical, emotional and mental well-being could be enhanced in a peaceful and aesthetically pleasing setting. They founded the nonprofit Anderton Therapeutic Gardens Society (ATGS) in 1996 with support from Christine Pollard, a horticultural therapist at Providence Farms in Duncan. In 1997, Ellen Presley and Karl Opelka, owners of the Anderton Nursery, gave the ATGS a 30-year lease on two acres of former cow pasture, for $1 a year. The first pitch was opened in 1998 with around 40 volunteers. Currently, the ATGS has 185 members, of which about 70 people keep the organization running entirely on a voluntary basis and the grounds are spectacular.

The ATGS celebrates 25 years of gardening and growing with a members-only “Jubilee Filled with Joy” on August 6th. The gardens will be closed to the public that day. It’s a great time to reflect on the people, work and relationships that made the Gardens possible. From the dream of the Georgesons to the continued support of Ellen and Karl, to all members and volunteers over the years, the ATGS celebrates and thanks all who continue to come together to create a thriving and welcoming garden destination for all. enjoy.

The Gardens on Anderton is an interactive wellness garden for people of all ages and abilities. The ground is fully accessible and open to the public daily from May to September, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except on holidays and certain private reservations. Admission is by donation ($5 suggested).

Membership supports the AGTS and the gardens. Member benefits include free workshops, volunteer opportunities, vegetable garden rental, and more. Individual memberships are $25 and family memberships (one household) are $35 for the calendar year. For more information about the gardens, membership, history and upcoming events, check out our Facebook page or our website www.gardensonanderton.org.

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